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People who post about fitness are narcissists and bf/gf social posters have low self-esteem, study finds

social media 09/11/2017

Researchers at Brunel University, London conducted a study measuring how the 'Big Five' personality traits influenced people's facebook status updates. The traits are as follows:

- Extroversion
- Neuroticism
- Openness
- Agreeableness
- Conscientousness 

The study found people who were regularly updating their Facebook with their fitness (or other) accomplishments were usually narcissists seeking validation.

Narcissists' bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates.

Meanwhile, those who posted regularly about their partner had low self-esteem. 

We're sure there's a few of you reading this thinking those Brunel researchers are probably just fat fuckers, "who the fuck takes offence to someone taking pride in their appearance and getting fit?"

Or maybe it's "anyone who thinks I have low self-esteem just because I want to show-off the babe I've got by my side, is probs jealous and is going to die alone..." 

Fair enough mate, we're just reporting on the study... 

speaking of, it outlined the following findings: 

  • People with low self-esteem more frequently posted status updates about their current romantic partner.
  • Narcissists more frequently updated about their achievements, which was motivated by their need for attention and validation from the Facebook community. These updates also received a greater number of 'likes' and comments, indicating that narcissists' boasting may be reinforced by the attention they crave.
  • Narcissists also wrote more status updates about their diet and exercise routine, suggesting that they use Facebook to broadcast the effort they put into their physical appearance.
  • Conscientiousness was associated with writing more updates about one's children.

Lecturer Dr Tara Marshall pointed out what we're all thinking... I mean this isn't exactly earth-shattering stuff.

"It might come as little surprise that Facebook status updates reflect people's personality traits. However, it is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook."

Those who receive none (likes) feel ostracised.

"People who receive more likes and comments tend to experience the benefits of social inclusion, whereas those who receive none feel ostracised."
"Although our results suggest that narcissists' bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays. Greater awareness of how one's status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain."

That's some hard truth right there...

Bring back the humble printed photo album.

Sometimes wish we could go back to days where we took photos purely because we wanted to remember and document moments, without having to even entertain the thought about how many "likes" our photos received online. 

Bring back the humble printed photo album, am I right?

But also, you do you friend.

We can safely say we've all been guilty of fitness or partner updates on our social feeds from time to time, and we don't think that makes us bad people. If someone really doesn't vibe, the unfollow/unfriend button is only a click away. 

However, it might not be a terrible idea to be a bit more conscientous about what we post and the psychological impact it's having on the people around us and their perception of us in the real world.